Tuesday, December 18, 2012

But There's No Crying ...

Image credit: Hugo Fernandes/Wikimedia

Baseball isn't professional wrestling. It actually is a contest of skilled athletes trying to compete against each other in a game that doesn't have a predetermined outcome.

But, as MLB notes today, that doesn't mean that everything you see is on the up-and-up. For instance, the arguments managers supposedly have with umpires during the game sometimes go like this:

"I remember a manager yelling and screaming and coming out and saying, 'I have to get run,'" said umpire Ted Barrett, who has governed big league games for 19 years. "So I tossed him, and he starts ranting and raving about how bad his team is. 'My pitcher is terrible. My bullpen can't get anybody out. My hitters haven't hit a ball out of the infield in three days. My clubhouse guys serve crappy food.' And on and on.

"I started chuckling at him, and the guy gets up in my face and says, 'Don't you laugh. If you laugh, then they know this is all an act.' So I did everything I could just to bite my tongue."

“My Pitcher Is Terrible, My Bullpen Can’t Get Anybody Out”: What Managers Really Yell About While Arguing With Umpires

I think most fans who haven't played the game at that level have, at times, wondered just what these arguments could possibly be about. There you are, distracted by the lump of mustard that just dropped from your hot dog onto your lap, and you can tell the umpire made the right call. The fans know it, and even the sportscasters know it. Yet here's an argument. Now I know there's an alternative explanation for the stress having finally gotten to yet another big league manager.

Of course, like jumping from the top turnbuckle without hurting yourself, there is some skill involved:

One such circumstance arose when Terry Collins was leading the Angels in the late 1990s. After a questionable call, Collins sought out Scott and told the umpire, "You know what, Dale? I know that was the right call. But we [stink]. You have to run me."

Scott told Collins he needed him to display more emotion and conviction to warrant his dismissal, so the manager flung his hat and Scott pointed him to the exit.

“My Pitcher Is Terrible, My Bullpen Can’t Get Anybody Out”: What Managers Really Yell About While Arguing With Umpires

There may not be any crying in baseball, but that doesn't mean you don't need The Method.


One Fly said...

I don't watch anymore and curious to know if they still argue like in the old days and as much?

Cujo359 said...

I don't see enough games to say, either. I have a suspicion things got calmer once Lou Pinella retired, but he wasn't the only irascible manager, nor even the most irascible.